Arts Orbit Weekly: 1/29/09

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This week’s picks

Thursday, January 29
India meets West Africa meets America(na) meets $2 PBR tallboys as Ragassa performs electric raga at Bedlam Theatre.

Friday, January 30
Even though the trailer features no sign of the Hermann Monument or the Glockenspiel, Reneé Zellweger’s movie New in Town is set in New Ulm, Minnesota. New Ulm isn’t holding a grudge about the fact that the film was shot elsewhere, and the whole town is celebrating with a potluck premiere party that’s starting at the Lakespur Building, moving down to the local multiplex (it has three screens), and wrapping up at the B&L Bar. If that seems like a bit of a jaunt for a little hotdish, you can stay here in the Cities and catch Open Eye Figure Theatre’s new show: Snowman.

Saturday, January 31
To celebrate the first full year of his open mic night at El Burrito Mercado, Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria is hosting special guests El Guante and Katie Ka Vang.

Sunday, February 1
Take Randy’s 30″ Pizza Challenge—even if you fail to finish the whole pie, you’ll be well-sated and ready to settle in for the Super Bowl, or the Minnesota Opera’s lengthy production of Faust.

Monday, February 2
There’s a bad-ass triple bill at the Triple Rock: Yo! Majesty, Natalie Stewart, and Alicia Leafgreen.

Tuesday, February 3
What is a Wagner Tuba? Maybe if you have to ask, you’ll never know. If you decide to skip Foster Beyers’s lecture on the subject, you can instead see the Oscar-nominated film Waltz With Bashir at the Uptown Theatre.

Wednesday, February 4
Enjoy the view from the Twin Cities’ silverest museum, which is showcasing contemporary female artists from Vietnam.

For more weekend picks, see the Weekend What’s What from l’etoile magazine.

Daily Planet arts roundup

Music

Her debut EP is called White Lesbian Rapper. Her MySpace name is whitelesbianrapper. Her song “Stereotype Writer” begins, “I’m a white lesbian rapper.” Her name is Alicia Leafgreen, she’s a white lesbian rapper, and Dwight Hobbes interviewed her about her music, including her upcoming album—which she swears will have a title that makes no reference to being white, lesbian, or a rapper. Another local white rapper is Eyedea, with whom Roe Pressley spoke at length about his music and his own upcoming album. (He’s not making any promises about the title.)

Annuals are not a local band, but they’re here so often that you’d swear they were—and that’s a good thing, says Jon Behm.

Finally, Rebecca Mitchell reviews the Minnesota Opera’s Faust, which she says is a good show—and it’s a good thing that it’s a good show, because it’s good ‘n’ long.

Theater

Which local production is more genuinely subversive: the over-hyped Spring Awakening at the Orpheum, or Cafe Intifada, the Bedlam show that exposes some hard truths about life in Gaza? Lydia Howell and I both vote for the latter.

Also this week, I relayed this important message from the Guthrie and the Orpheum: “We’ve got dogs.”

Movies

Academy Award nominee Ari Folman (Waltz With Bashir) is a talented filmmaker—but like the twenty acting nominees, he’s not Hispanic. Nor is Penelope Cruz, argues Daniel Cubias, despite her fluency with the Spanish tongue. Gran Torino star Bee Vang isn’t Hispanic either, but our readers didn’t hold that against him—Xamoua’s interview with him was one of our most-read stories this week.

Books

If you like books and you like museums, this was your week. Chuck Olsen presented a video on artist books at the Walker, and I reviewed the companion volume to the recently-closed exhibit of Masterpiece Photographs at the MIA. Representing the national pastimes, Dwight Hobbes talked with Jim Johnson—author of a new biography of deaf pitching great “Dummy” Hanson—and Theresa Bernard profiles Annie Modesitt, author of Knit With Courage, Live With Hope.

Dining

Jeremy Iggers gives props to the newly expanded Armatage Room in Southwest Minneapolis and reports positive buzz for Mort’s Delicatessen in Golden Valley. Tara Bannow reports that Uncle Franky has arrived in Dinkytown, and Erica Mauter takes a stab at Randy’s 30″ Pizza Challenge.

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Jay Gabler (jay@tcdailyplanet.net) is the Daily Planet’s arts editor.

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